“As biologist and biology educationalist, I am especially happy about the motto for the ball. This year, those who don’t normally have a big lobby, are being heard: insects! Their image as ‘annoying naggers’ has long been outdated: 80% of our most important plants are pollinated by them, amongst them not only fruit and vegetables but also favourites of ball visitors like wine and coffee. 20.000 bee species are flying through the air, one of them the honey bee, which is the third most important livestock animal (just after cattle and pigs). The global decline in insects is therefore not only massively threatening biodiversity but also our nutrition and way of living. As humans we need to tackle the decline of more than 75% of insect populations (in protected natural areas). No surprise that the according study made it into the Global Risk Report 2018 by the World Economic Forum. Be(e) educated: At the ball you can learn more about our environmental education project Bee.ed at our stand. We will show you how to protect wild bees and will introduce you to the language of bee dance, which was discovered by the Viennese biologist and Nobel prize winner Karl von Frisch. And who knows, maybe the bee dance will inspire your moves as well!”
Andrea Möller heads the Austrian Education Competence Centre for Biology (AECC Biology) and is professor at the Department for Evolutionary Biology (University of Vienna). At the AECC she is training most of the aspiring biology teachers in Ausria and researching the development of children’s knowledge and attitudes about the environment. As expert for ‘bee didactics’ and former Visiting Researcher at Yale University, she also leads the cross-national and award-winning environmental education project Bee.ed.
Photo: (c) Joseph Krpelan, www.derknopfdruecker.com